Sri Lanka Cricket will not take a cue from Cricket Australia and further punish captain Dinesh Chandimal who was at the center of a ball-tampering controversy during the just-concluded tour of West Indies.
Chandimal missed his team’s last Test against Windies in Barbados after being suspended for ball tampering. He faces further ICC sanctions after accepting to a Level 3 charge that relates to bringing disrepute to the game. Along with Chandimal, head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha were also charged after they held up play for two hours on the third day of the second Test in St. Lucia.
While admitting that the Sri Lankan think tank was wrong not to take the field, the Ministry of Sports – that manages the affairs of SLC after a court ruling delayed the SLC elections – confirmed that the trio will not be further punished.
“I am disturbed about the team not taking the field. It was wrong not to take the field. This should not have happened. But I can understand the team trying to back the captain,” Faizer Mustapaha, the Minister of Sports, said after the team returned home from the tour of West Indies.
“We regret the team not going onto the field for two hours. We should maintain discipline of the highest order. SLC is committed to spirit of cricket. We maintained that Chandimal was innocent, but the ICC has issued a sanction and we abide by it,” Mustapaha added.
In March this year, during the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town, the ICC fined Cameron Bancroft 75 percent of his match fee for ball tampering and suspended captain Steve Smith for one Test match for conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.
Cricket Australia launched its own investigation and suspended the duo and vice-captain David Warner for his involvement in the incident.
Gurusinha regretted his team’s actions in St. Lucia. “We were aware of the rules. When they sent us the charge sheet, all three of us accepted it. We were too emotional when we were informed that the captain was charged for ball tampering. We made a mistake and regret it,” he said.
“My worry is that we will be without the services of our captain for the upcoming South African series. We are hoping that the ICC will reduce the punishment. We have accepted the charge and now we are hoping that both our captain and coach will be available for the South Africa series.
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